The year is about to come to a close, and everyone is trying to think ahead. Board members, community association managers (CAMs), and management company executives alike are gearing up for the immediate and long-term futures.
Understanding the community association management industry can be a real challenge, though. With such a niche area of service, and an assortment of people who certainly didn’t grow up saying, “I want to be a board member or an association manager” on career day, it can be hard to pinpoint what will matter most to the professionals and volunteers throughout the space. Year over year, the landscape in the CAM industry is changing and shifting.
When CINC Systems surveyed the industry in 2022, some pretty big revelations came up–management companies felt that staff were more burnt out now than ever before and struggled to understand customer satisfaction; HOA and condo boards were very interested in community security and security technology and sought ways to stay successful even when facing turnover.
If you look back at these results and consider how the year played out for many within the industry, there are a lot of concerns that need to be addressed. But when it comes down to it, a few common trends appear to take shape and can act as a tentative guide for the coming year:
1. Supporting Managers in New Ways
The Great Resignation hit the CAM industry like a semi, and there’s no sign it will slow down in 2023. Many management companies took this as a sign to re-evaluate a few key components of how they source staff. For years, the obvious answer has been to hire certified, licensed CAM professionals–but with how few and far between those seem to be these days between resignations and a stagnant pool of new talent, changes had to be made. Many CAM management companies turned instead to virtual assistance in some capacity. Whether that’s hiring a virtual assistant to manage the multitude of schedules their managers and communities must juggle or outsourcing internal departments to HOA-specific service providers, there seems to be a new respect for non-staff staffing options, and we expect that to trend upward in the year ahead.
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2. Preparedness and Maintenance Will Remain Top of the Mind
Last year’s trend prediction focused pretty heavily on the ramifications of the Champlain Towers South collapse, and the FNMA restrictions that came from the tragedy. 2022 was a year full of new legislative efforts to combat aging infrastructure in community association residential buildings as a result. In 202,3, we expect those recently-passed or soon-to-be-passed HOA laws throughout the country (California, Florida, and Hawaii, just to name a few prominent states) to have a massive impact on the way the CAM industry operates and handles their finances and maintenance schedules.
3. Repositioning Community Management to Reveal Value
Tangentially related to both the ongoing manager crisis and the condo maintenance restrictions is the reality that CAM management is often misunderstood. Community board members perceive their managers much like they do their cleaners or babysitters–they’re “the help.” And given enough time and mistreatment, managers can fall into the rut of starting to believe that. But community management is significantly more than the list of operational to-dos and communications to be made. When you reconsider the job being carried out and see the big picture, that it is instead a job of asset management, you can reposition how your management company and your managers present your services and better price your services for the value being offered. This will be especially huge in the coming year, as so many managers and management companies will be responsible for managing large-scale capital improvements throughout their portfolios.
Help Us Stay Ahead of the Curve
The industry is in a constant state of flux–that’s why we’re asking industry professionals just like you for your thoughts again. CINC’s 2023 State of the Industry survey is live and ready for your input. Click here to share your knowledge and make your thoughts and insights known.